Cultural Perceptions of Leisure and Well-being in Rock Climbing Communities of Peru and Arizona, USA
In December of 2015, I made my way to rural Peru for a few weeks, my first visit to South America. While I was there, I observed a devotion to family and leisure activity, topics that were not heavily prioritized in my experience in Arizona. Upon my return, I became more involved in leisure activities, particularly running, hiking, yoga, and climbing. These involvements noticeably benefitted my health and well-being. The way the Peruvians I met prioritized these subjects fascinated me, and I wanted to study this difference between Arizona and Peru. In July of 2017, I returned to Peru for a semester abroad with my bags packed and the following research questions: 1) Are differences in motivation for rock climbing between Arizona and Peruvian climbers associated with cultural values? 2) Do leisure activities and the amount of time spent on them have an effect on quality of life? 3) Does the degree of climbing specialization impact perceptions of well-being? 4) What characteristics impact perceptions of quality of life among climbers? Are these characteristics affected by country of origin? My prediction was that Peruvians had higher quality of life due to their emphasis on leisure. Through this study, I learned that this conclusion was not as simple as I anticipated.